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Grace, Love Communion
2 Corinthians 13:14
I cannot imagine a better way to end the year that is past and to begin the new, than by meditating upon “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost.”
The Grace of Christ
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” is the ground and foundation of all he has done and suffered for us. It was his grace that caused him to become our Surety in the covenant, caused him to assume our nature in his incarnation, caused him to live in obedience to God as our Representative, bringing in everlasting righteousness for us, and caused him to set his face like a flint from old eternity and made him willing to suffer the painful, shameful, ignominious death of the cross as our Substitute at Calvary. It is that same grace of Christ that inspires his advocacy and intercession for us in heaven and directs the rule of his throne in daily providence for our good. “Be with you all” — Yes, his grace is always with us; but we do not always have an awareness of his grace. Do we? Oh, how I pray that he will grant you all an abiding awareness of his boundless grace toward you. How I pray that he will do the same for your pastor. O Spirit of God, cause us to walk in the sunshine of our Savior’s grace, ever aware of his smiling face, knowing the security of his embrace!
The Love of God
“The love of God” our Father, eternal, everlasting, free, underserved, and sovereign, the distinguishing love of God, immutable and indestructible, is forever ours! It is his love that chose us, his love that gave his Son for us, his love that called us, and his love that keeps us. “Could we with ink the oceans fill, and were the skies of parchment made, were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade, — To write the love of God above would drain the oceans dry! Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.” “Be with you all” — May it please our great God, whose infinite love is ever ours in Christ, cause us to ever live in the blessed awareness of his love; may it be shed abroad in our hearts by his Holy Spirit, that we may be rooted and grounded in love, comprehending its length and breadth, and depth and height, that we might be “filled with all the fulness of God!”
The Communion of the Holy Ghost
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God” our Father will be ours continually only as we enjoy “the communion of the Holy Ghost.” It is God the Holy Spirit who takes the things of Christ and shows them to us, giving us communion with our Father in our blessed Savior, and causing us to enjoy sweet communion with one another. “Be with you all” — O Holy Spirit, divine Comforter and Teacher, come, abide upon your people and grant us grace to walk and work together in sweet communion with our great, eternal, triune God in Christ and with one another all the days of our lives. Let nothing deprive us of the boundless blessedness of this benediction here pronounced by you upon us! Blessed as we have been and are in the united mercies of the triune God, let this blessedness evermore be ours in the constantly increasing experience of grace. Perfect that which you have begun in us, for Christ’s sake.